Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram met heads of top public sector banks and promoters of delayed infrastructure projects in Karnataka.

The meeting is the third in the series which the Union Finance Minister is holding at the State level. The first such meet was held in Mumbai, second in Chennai and the third in Bangalore today.

There are 21 infrastructure projects in Karnataka which came up for review. They are steel, metals and alloys, power, road and gas and oils projects, all worth Rs 7,00,000 crore, which are facing delays.

“At the meet, the Finance Minister heard both the bankers’ view and promoters’ problem and gave directions as to how to speed up the stalled projects,” said a senior Canara Bank official.

The Minister also expressed the Government’s willingness to speed up the infrastructure projects, and assured the stakeholders of all help from the Centre for the timely execution of the projects.

Newly elected Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was also presentat the review meet. Finance Secretary Rajiv Taku was among other Union Government officials who took part in the meeting.

For projects that have been stalled or delayed, several reasons were identified. But the major reasons were: land acquisition by the States, environment clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, coal linkages, gas allotments, and extension of concession period.

Few major projects which came up for discussion included JSW pellatisation plant in Bellary; Lanco and Shravanti projects in Uttarkhand; HKR and NAM road projects in Andhra Pradesh; JP power venture in Madhya Pradesh; Thrissur express highway in Kerala; border checkpost project in Madhya Pradesh; Thrtha-Urga project in Sikkim; Kadalur project in Tamil Nadu; Kinnur highway project in Himachal Pradesh; Navdurga-Dhalli road project; Anark aluminium project in Visakhapatnam in AP; Adur project in Orissa; and the NHAI highway project connecting Bangalore to Devanahalli International Airport, which has been stalled due to lack of funds.

Along with project promoters, public sector banks were led by Canara bank, and heads of the State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Vijaya Bank, Syndicate Bank, and other non-Karnataka banks.

anil.u@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on May 14, 2013)
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